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WTM Africa April 2022

January 31, 2022
Harold Goodwin
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Responsible Tourism at WTM Africa in April 2022

Monday 11th

Travel Forward Theatre 

13:30 – 14:15 Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism

The tourism industry - travel, hospitality and attractions - has developed a bewildering range of tech solutions to reduce carbon emissions, water consumption, food waste and plastics. New technology alone will not achieve the change we need to see in our industry, we need to encourage behavioural change amongst our staff and our clients. For this panel, we have chosen experienced experts who can look behind the brochures and the sales pitch to share what they have learnt about what works, what doesn't and why?

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Angus Spurr  GM Park Inn Cape Town 
Tracy Schaffer, Sustainability Officer for the Cullinan Group
Chris Van Zyl, Group Environmental Manager  The Vineyard
Hugo Vermeulen Solarus

15:30 – 17:00 The 2022 Africa Responsible Tourism  Awards

Global Stage at WTM Africa

WTM Africa

Showcasing Best Practice in the Industry
A highlight on the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism calendar, these awards champion the very best work in Responsible Tourism on the African continent. Join us as we celebrate those - sustainability champions, changemakers, movers and shakers - who continue to make a positive impact and lead by example.

The awards aim to “discover, recognise and promote good practice”. These prestigious awards recognise businesses and destinations that make responsible tourism their focus to ensure they are discovered and celebrated, showing how they are cultivating change and pioneering creative projects that revolve around the wellbeing and sustainability of tourism and looking after the people and the landscapes that allow the industry to thrive.

Categories & Finalists 

Tuesday 12th 

All Tuesday sessions are on the Spotlight Stage 

WTM website 

10:30-11:15 Twenty years of Responsible Tourism in South Africa
The Responsible Tourism movement was founded twenty years ago in Cape Town and has grown to have influence around the world as more and more businesses and destinations have taken responsibility to use tourism to make better places for people to live in and to visit. It has not been easy. This panel will reflect on the progress that has been made since the publication of the White Paper in 1996 and consider the challenges faced. Looking to the future, we shall discuss the current priorities and how progress might be made more quickly.

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Lisa Hosking, Destination Management Executive at Cape Town Tourism,
Michael Lutzeyer, Founder & Visionary, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Dr Theuns Vivian Head: Destination Development & Economic Growth, Cape Town

11:15-12:00 Progress in Responsible Tourism Around the World      

The Cape Town Declaration founded a movement that has spread around the world. An opportunity to look at some of the Responsible Tourism initiatives that have developed in Africa and around the world and to reflect on whether there are ideas that could be developed for your business or destination. Given the range of challenges – climate change, biodiversity loss, inclusion – that we face, we need to make progress faster. The Platform for Change is designed to enable 'tried and tested' and promising new ideas to be shared. You may wish to contribute Responsible Tourism practices to the Platform or use it to find ways of tackling the sustainability issues which concern you and the communities you work in and with.

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Emilie Hagedorn Green Heart Tourism
Lisa Scriven, Utopia Africa

12:00- 12:30 Mike Fabricius & Harold Goodwin co-chairs of the Cape Town Declaration Conference reflect on how it came about and what resulted from it
In 2002 Mike was CEO of the Western Cape Tourism Board and with Harold Goodwin co-chaired the first international conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations which launched the Cape Town Declaration the found document of the Responsible Tourism movement. Mike went on to establish. The Journey, is an independent tourism advisory and consultancy practice undertaking destination development in Africa, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and the Fear East. Mike and Harold will reflect on the progress made over the last twenty years in South Africa and around the world,  barriers to change and reflect on the future.
Mike Fabricius The Journey & Co-Chair Cape Town Conference on RT in Destinations, 2002
Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor & Co-Chair Cape Town Conference on RT in Destinations, 2002

12:45-13:30 V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront won the "Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic" category in last year's WTM Global Tourism Awards. This panel is an opportunity to hear from them and ask them why Responsible Tourism matters to them, about why it makes business sense, and about their environmental and socio-economic initiatives.

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
David Green – CEO, V&A Waterfront
Henry Matthys - Snr Man. Social Impact & Food Ecosystem Head
André Theys – Executive Manager: Operations

13:30-14:15 Local Economic Development, Creating Shared Value
The concept of shared value emerges from the writing of Harvard Professor Michael E. Porter, well-known for his previous work on competition strategy, value chains and cluster theory. Porter defines shared value as "policies and operating practices that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the social and economic conditions in the communities in which it operates". In this panel, we shall explore some African examples of this approach to growing your business, benefitting neighbouring communities and increasing the value of tourism to the destination.

Moderator Gillian Saunders, Tourism and Hospitality Adviser
Ruth Crichton
Marketing & PR, Sustainability, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Glynn O'Leary CEO & Founder Transfrontier Parks Destinations
Evie Ndhlovu, Program Manager EMEA at Planeterra

14:30 -15:00 Tourism and Wildlife Conservation working with the African Leadership University
The School of Wildlife Conservation (SOWC) has been created as part of the African Leadership University to develop passionate people who can address the current failings of the wildlife conservation sector across much of the African continent. "We need to create a new cohort of exceptionally bright and passionate people who understand why conservation is important, who can think innovatively to create value from natural resources whilst building Africa’s natural capital, and who understand how business thinking can in fact contribute to long term sustainability and the transformation of conservation into a pillar of economic growth. We must provide these people with mentored “real life” opportunities to lead and learn by creating large networks of support and opportunity. In short, we must make conservation relevant and attractive in the context of modern Africa. Richard will make a presentation followed by a Q&A 
Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Richard Vigne
Executive Director at the School of Wildlife Conservation, African leadership University #

15:00-15:45 Tackling Climate Change
The latest IPCC report, “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, is about risk, the risk to us, all of us, which results from the burning of fossil fuels and the consequent accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The IPPC reports that the consequences of climate change are now baked in. With “very high confidence” they assert that “Near-term  actions that limit global warming to close to 1.5°C would substantially reduce projected losses and damages related to climate change in human systems and ecosystems, compared to higher warming levels, but cannot eliminate them all.” Our industry contributes to greenhouse gas emissions through aviation and ground transport and heating, cooling and lighting accommodation. What can we do to reduce our emissions? On current trends sea-level rise, extreme weather events and wildfires are expected. How can we adapt to these challenges?

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Goosain Isaacs Director. Climate Change, Western Cape Government
Karien Erasmus, a Senior Manager Risk Advisory Services  at BDO, and part of the first phase of the  Tourism Sector Risk and Climate Change study for the SA National Department of Tourism
Michael Tollman, CEO of Cullinan Holdings
Chris Van Zyl, Group Environmental Manager  The Vineyard

15:45-16:15 Investment for Responsible Tourism & Resilience

Development banks, commercial banks and private investors all have a role to play in financing tourism. Hermione Nevill, from the International Finance Corporation, will take a destination-lens to explore some of the financing mechanisms in play, and how they are changing in the context of recovery in Africa. There will be a presentation about what the IFC is doing and an opportunity for Q&A.

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Hermione Nevill,  Senior Tourism Specialist at World Bank Group

16:15-17:00 We need to Increase Our Resilience
The Covid pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of our industry to travel bans and fear. Cape Town was not the first destination to suffer from severe drought and a large reduction in arrivals – and it will not be the last. What can businesses and destinations do to increase their resilience? What can you do? What do you need to do?

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor

Lee-Anne Bac, Director, Strategic Development and Advisory
Simon Blackburn Sustainability Director, African Safari Collective
Ilse Van Schalkwyk,  Chief Director: Economic Sector Support, Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape Government
Gareth Morgan, Acting Executive Director: Future Planning and Resilience City of Cape Town |
Hermione Nevill
,  Senior Tourism Specialist at World Bank Group

17:00 – 17:45  How can the travel and tourism industry contribute more to conservation and nature recovery?
As the world wakes up to the urgency of the interconnected climate and biodiversity crises and attention turns to the business community's response, how much more can and should the travel and tourism sector be doing to counter biodiversity loss?

Moderator: Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Colin Bell, co-founder of Wilderness Safaris, Great Plains and Natural Selection Safaris
Michael Lutzeyer, Founder & Visionary, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Roland Vorwerk African Nature-based Tourism Platform

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Post-Covid? RT at WTM Africa April 2022

Covid-19 has accelerated some trends in travel and tourism and reminded us of how vulnerable travel and tourism is in the face of health scares and economic recession. Our sector is perhaps the most vulnerable just in time industry of all. An empty seat on a London to Nairobi flight today or an empty hotel room in Cape Town tonight cannot be sold tomorrow. As a capital intensive service industry we are particularly vulnerable. Our product cannot be stored for sale next season or tomorrow.

There has been a greater focus on health and safety as destination governments, accommodation providers, tourism operators, and airlines have emphasised their responsibility by adopting and enforcing operating protocols to protect against Covid. Almost overnight, travel was again perceived as complicated, hazardous, and expensive because of the variety of national and often sub-national testing, isolation and quarantining regulations. Hazardous because of the risk of catching Covid, being ill abroad, being trapped by flight bans, or being quarantined in a hotel. Testing, quarantine costs and insurance all became more expensive.

Responsibility was widely used in the industry to provide reassurance to travellers. Destinations that had become accustomed to overtourism rediscovered what it was like not to feel overrun by tourists, whilst others lost their jobs or had to close their business. Many destinations were reminded of how important tourism was, and is, to the local economy. As lockdowns came and went, some established honeypots, and some new ones, experienced overtourism for the first time.

Tourism is for most destinations seasonal and so are viruses like Covid. Countries in the southern hemisphere dependent on northern hemisphere source markets are particularly vulnerable to travel bans. A survey of 390 South African operators, reported that a total of £50m, $67m  was lost through cancellations in the 48 hours after the Omicron red listing was imposed at the end of November. In January, the World Health Organisation's Emergency Covid Committee put it bluntly

"The Committee praised South Africa for their rapid identification and transparent and rapid sharing of information on the Omicron VOC[1]. The Committee was concerned about the reaction of States Parties in implementing blanket travel bans, which are not effective in suppressing international spread (as clearly demonstrated by the Omicron experience), and may discourage transparent and rapid reporting of emerging VOC." more

Vaccine inequality is a major ethical and health issue, new variants emerge when the virus spreads amongst the unprotected. "Out of more than 9 billion vaccines doses produced, Africa has only received approximately 540 million (about 6 per cent of all COVID vaccines, despite having 17 per cent of the world's population) and administered 309 million doses. Less than 10 per cent of Africans are fully vaccinated." more

The chief executive of SATSA is reported to have said  "My overriding concern is that the sense of partnership and trust that existed between the UK and the southern African states has been eroded through policies that effectively shut down large swathes of Africa's economies and put many African people's livelihoods in jeopardy without consultation, without warning and without any science…. "We did not expect that from our lead Commonwealth partner, especially after commitments made at recent G20 and COP meetings. These policies have directly contributed to increasing levels of poverty, and in turn, loss in biodiversity as so many more people will be forced to go back to living off the land." more

At least in South Africa, there is a developed domestic tourism market as there is in much of the northern hemisphere, although local lockdowns also closed tourism and hospitality. In much of Africa, there is no domestic tourism market.

[1] Variant of Concern

 

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